Member Handbook

Congratulations and Welcome to New Designees

We are honored to have this opportunity to congratulate and welcome you to the Rhode Island Chapter of CPCU. We commend you for this achievement, which exhibits your commitment to continuing education for insurance professionals in order to provide outstanding service to those who seek coverage and require assistance with risk assessment. The long hours of study and the sacrifices you have made to successfully complete each of the CPCU segments distinguishes you as a professional who can command respect for the insurance knowledge you have acquired, and the willingness to expend the effort to acquire it.

This pamphlet has been written to introduce you to the Rhode Island Chapter of CPCU, and the responsibilities and benefits of membership. While its intended audience is the new designee, it can be used as a reference for all members of the chapter.

Rhode Island Chapter History

The Rhode Island Chapter of the CPCU Society was organized in September 1962, when seven local insurance professionals signed the original documents forming the chapter. Paul McLaughlin of Starkweather & Shepley served as our first president.

One of the primary goals of the chapter has been to encourage and assist CPCU candidates to attain the CPCU designation. Currently, three exam preparation classes are offered for the January and June exams in Rhode Island.

Recognizing the continued importance of education after becoming a CPCU, our chapter was among the first to have members qualify for recognition under the Society's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program when it was introduced in 1983.

The chapter's success over the years is directly attributable to the involvement of the individual members who take advantage of the many opportunities the chapter provides. We hope you will become one of these individuals.

Officers: Roles and Responsibilities


  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chairperson of the Board of Directors
  • Exercises general supervision over the activities of the chapter


  • Performs duties of the President in his absence
  • Coordinates Award Submissions
  • Coordinates Good Works Activities
  • Initiates annual updating of the chapter's long-range plans
  • Performs other duties assigned by the President

Vice President

  • Chairperson of the Program Committee
  • Performs other duties assigned by the President


  • Keeps permanent record of all meetings of the Chapter, Board of Directors,
    and Executive Committee
  • Coordinates Special Events
  • Chairperson of the Ethics Committee
  • Performs other duties assigned by the President


  • Submits periodic financial statements to the Board
  • Chapter financial records are available for review by any member or
    authorized auditor

Board of Directors

The Board defines policies, provides administrative overview of the chapter, and conducts long-range planning. Consists of the President, President-elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Directors, and the immediate past President
(ex officio). Each serves a term of one year.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee carries out policies defined by the Board of Directors. It consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Three members constitute a quorum. Its functions include the managing of such matters that extend beyond the scope of responsibility of any single officer. All acts of the Executive Committee are subject to ratification by the Board at its next formal meeting.

Chapter Committees

Candidate Development works closely with National Candidate Development Committee in regard to attracting insurance education students.

Chapter Awards works on submission of various National awards from the activities of the other committees.

Education coordinates and provides a variety of quality professional insurance education functions, especially providing CPCU courses to the Rhode Island
insurance community.

Ethics coordinates activities to increase the awareness and practice of high ethical standards throughout the insurance industry. The Ethics Committee conducts special activities during the month of March, which is Ethics Awareness Month.

Good Works coordinates charitable services to local communities while at the same time enhancing the visibility of the CPCU chapter and its members. Examples of good works projects include Special Olympics, walk-a-thons, food banks, literacy programs, television fundraisers, and drug rehabilitation programs.

Membership keeps in contact with all CPCUs in the chapter area and encourages them to join the Society and participate in chapter activities. A directory of chapter members is published annually. This committee also oversees the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program for the chapter.

New Designee provides a link between the chapter and its new designees and encourages them to become active members of the Society and the chapter.

Public Relations is responsible for enhancing the image of the CPCU chapter, its members and the CPCU Society. Among its activities are the publication of a chapter newsletter, distribution of press releases, distribution of public service announcements, and advertising.

Program is responsible for producing educational, business, or social programs. Among its activities are obtaining speakers at monthly meetings and conducting joint meetings with other insurance groups. Speakers generally talk for about 20 minutes following a meal, which constitutes a meeting.

Research is responsible for taking a leadership role in developing appropriate research subjects and producing a research project.

Scholarship oversees the fundraising activities associated with the Chapter's Scholarship Fund, which is a separate, yet related, entity. Distributes annual scholarships to members, or their relatives, of the Rhode Island insurance community.

Other ad hoc committees are formed as needed.


General membership meetings are held monthly, from September through June, at various locations. A notice of the meeting is usually mailed to members 3 to 4 weeks before the meeting date. Meeting times are varied so that the meetings take place during breakfast, lunch or dinner in order that most members can attend at a time that fits into their busy schedule. Meeting topics and speakers vary at each meeting, and suggestions are encouraged for topics to be presented at future meetings.

Attendance is noted at these meetings in order to provide documentation for those applying for Continued Professional Development (CPD) credit.

Nametags are provided to help you socialize with other chapter members. The nametags should be returned to the reception table at the close of the meeting for reuse at future meetings.

Other Activities

Speakers Bureau 
We maintain a Speakers Bureau that is available to speak to elementary, high school or college students, non-insurance business or professional groups, or civic organizations. We also deliver presentations to insurance industry audiences. If you know of audiences to whom we could speak, or would like to become part of the Speakers Bureau, please contact the Public Relations Committee Chairperson or any member of the Board of Directors.

Personal Sponsorship Program 
We match chapter members to one or more prospective CPCU candidates to provide encouragement, help the candidate matriculate into the program, and motivate the candidate until he or she earns the designation. If you are interested in becoming a Sponsor, contact the Candidate Development Chairperson or any member of the Board of Directors.

Professional Interest Sections
The chapter encourages members to join any of the Society's professional interest sections. These sections address members' specific needs and interests, and provide a forum for those working in specific product or functional lines. Each section conducts educational programs specific to its discipline, and publishes its own informative, quarterly newsletter and a biannual membership directory. Sections have been formed in the following areas: Agent & Broker; Claims; Consulting, Litigation & Expert Witness; Excess/Surplus/Specialty Lines; Information Technology; International Insurance; Loss Control; Regulatory & Legislative; Reinsurance; Risk Management; Senior CPCU; and Underwriting. To join one or more of these sections, contact the President for more information.

National Job Network
The Society has a National Job Network to assist unemployed members in search of employment. It is a referral service and is free to Society members, who must be unemployed or have written notification of termination within 60 days to use the network. For more information, contact the President.

CPCU-Harry J. Loman Foundation
The CPCU-Harry J. Loman Foundation is a non-profit organization existing to work with the CPCU Society in the support and encouragement of research, study, publication, career pursuit, and public and professional career education in the fields of insurance, risk, and risk-bearing. A member of the Society staff also supports the Foundation, which is overseen by elected officers and trustees. Financial support for the Foundation comes from a number of sources, including individual CPCUs and Society Chapters. Please contact the President or any member of the Board of Directors for information and brochures describing more about the Foundation.

Get Involved with the Chapter

All members are encouraged to get involved in chapter activities. This is your Chapter and we want to make the CPCU designation a tangible benefit in your professional development by continuing to provide educational and networking opportunities.

There are various committees that could use the specific talents of our valued members. If you have a particular interest in any of the committees as described in the previous section, please make your wishes known to any officer or committee head. How you can contact them is listed in the next section.